A Recap of PDI 2016: Design in Management Consultancies

I was thrilled to attend and honoured to be a panelist at this year’s Product Design Innovation conference, which focused on Design Thinking for now and beyond. The 2-day event in central London drew more than 1,000 leaders and influencers in design, innovation, and strategy together for a variety of activities, workshops, speakers and panel discussions that explored how Design Thinking is changing and impacting the industry for product and Industrial designs of the future.

Joined by designers from McKinsey & Company and Market Gravity, I represented Doblin on a panel about the rise of design in management consultancies. Our interactive conversation focused on the new era of management consulting as firms increasingly enter the design space through acquisitions of agencies and studios—Doblin by Deloitte, Lunar by McKinsey & Company in the US, Seren by Ernst & Young in the UK, etc. As a post-industrial designer who has moved into a design strategy with an innovation consultancy, this topic area is particularly relevant and this panel provided a valuable platform for having a robust discussion.

My fellow panelists and I had a lively discussion about this around the challenges and opportunities presented by this dynamic transition. Sharing stories of my move from industrial design into design strategy and motivations for joining Doblin (as part of Deloitte), I presented my point of view on how this shift is impacting design.

In my experience, being part of a management consultancy creates new access for designers to some of the most exciting, complex problems. And, we can have real impact at scale by working with some of the largest organizations around the world. This panel sparked many important conversations that will likely evolve as design becomes more integrated in management consulting firms and I’m excited to be part of it.